G2: DIY: Maintenance: Check the fluid levels

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G2 Oil DipstickLocation.jpg

The oil level should be checked before driving. If the car has been driven recently, there will be a lot of oil that has not yet settled in the oil pan and may lead you to believe your oil level is lower than it is. Ensure the car is parked on level ground. Locate the oil dipstick and pull it out.


G2 Oil DipstickReading.jpg

Ignore the oil level on the dipstick the first time you remove it. It will be inaccurate due to oil splashing around in the oil pan while driving. Wipe the oil off of the dipstick with a clean rag. Slide the dipstick back into the tube, making sure it goes all the way in, then pull it back out. Note the level of oil on the dipstick. There are two holes near the end of the dipstick, your oil level should be between these two holes. In the picture shown, the oil is still very clean and can be difficult to see the exact level (it is exactly between the two holes in this photo). Also note that there is oil filling in the lower hole (on the right) but the top hole (on the left) is clean and clear.


If your oil level is below the lower mark, add more oil immediately. Adding 1 quart of oil will raise the oil level from the lower mark on the dipstick to the upper mark, so be sure not to add too much.

If you are closely monitoring your oil level and it is continuously dropping, you may have a leak. A leak can be either external or internal. An external leak may drip onto the ground beneath the car and leave a puddle, or onto the exhaust where it will be burned off before reaching the ground. With an internal leak, commonly at the valve stem seals, the oil will leak into the combustion chambers. A high enough volume of oil leaking here can cause smoking from the tailpipe. Valve cover gaskets, valve stem seals, and spark plug tube seals are all common leak points.


Note the condition of the oil. If it is still light in color, as in the photo above, the oil is clean. If it is dark, it may be due for an oil change (see: G2:_DIY:_Maintenance:_Change the engine oil and oil filter). If the oil looks milky, you may have coolant leaking into the oil. Typically this would mean a blown cylinder head gasket is allowing coolant to leak into the combustion chambers where it then works its way past the pistons and into the oil pan. Although more often than not, a blown head gasket on a Legend will leak in the opposite direction, where exhaust gases from the combustion chamber leak into the cooling system.

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